The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Special Education Unit, in an effort to assist Arkansas Part B preschool special education programs in the collection and reporting of federally- mandated early childhood outcomes, is issuing this Guidance Memorandum.
Indicator 7 in the Special Education State Performance Plan requires the ADE to collect and report early childhood special education baseline data at child entry into the program and improvement data in the Early Childhood Outcomes areas of positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships), acquisition and use of knowledge and skills, and use of appropriate behaviors by the child to meet his or her needs. Early Childhood Special Education programs should take the following steps or note the following when generating data for Indicator 7 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2006-2007:
1. All Part B Early Childhood agencies will use the Child Outcomes Summary Form (COSF) to develop and assign child-specific Outcomes ratings. The COSF and instructions can be downloaded from the Special Education website at http://arksped.k12.ar.us by clicking on the Direct Services for Students and Families link on the navigation panel on the left. From the Direct Services Support page, access the Early Childhood link. The COSF posted at this link is available in an editable format for ease of use by Arkansas Part B Early Childhood agencies.
2. Part B Early Childhood agencies will use the process learned at the August 17, 2006, Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) Center training to determine child-specific Outcomes, to include the formation of an appropriate team and the utilization of appropriate assessments and other data.
3. The entry Outcomes ratings must be developed and assigned within thirty (30) days of entry into the program. The exit Outcomes ratings must be developed and assigned within thirty (30) days of exit (as long as the duration of preschool services was for six  months or more). For preschool children entering a Part B program, the ADE recommends that data derived from full and individual initial evaluations be used whenever possible to establish child-specific entry ratings scores.
4. For federal reporting purposes, COSF consensus ratings must be developed and submitted by Part B Early Childhood agencies for any preschool student who enters or exits (as long as the duration of preschool services was for six  months or more). In addition, as provided for in the State Performance Plan, the ADE will collect and evaluate Outcomes data from all Part B Early Childhood agencies on at least an annual basis. Part B Early Childhood agencies, therefore, should prepare to implement the COSF consensus ratings process for each child at appropriate intervals throughout the school year.
5. COSF consensus ratings scores for each child and each Outcomes indicator must be reported through the Arkansas Public School Computer Network (APSCN) Early Childhood module. Part B Early Childhood agencies are encouraged to also record child-specific scores in the local automated systems.
6. When a Part C agency has used the COSF to assign an exit rating to a child, the Part B Early Childhood agency may use this as an entry score unless there is consensus evidence that the rating and score are not valid.
7. Each Part B Early Childhood agency must develop a strategy for including parents in the determination of Outcomes scores.
As recommended by the ECO Center, the ADE will provide opportunities during FY 2006-2007 for periodic feedback sessions with Part B Early Childhood agencies on the ongoing use of the COSF. These feedback sessions will be for the purpose of sharing effective strategies that work with local populations as well as to share information to enhance the consistency of approaches used statewide.